Karwar: The Bharatiya Janata Party is so encouraged by the rise in the voting percentage in Uttara Kannada, that it claims its candidate, Ananthkumar Hegde will win by a margin of two lakh this Lok Sabha poll.
Uttara Kannada constituency, which also covers Khanapur and Kittur in Belagavi district, recorded 74.04 per cent voting this time, when in 2014 it had recorded 69.04 per cent.
The Bharatiya Janata Party leaders claim this increase will be to their advantage.
“Janata Dal (Secular) candidate Anand Asnotikar hardly has any support here. The increase in voting will favour us. Young voters are attracted by the Modi wave and will vote for the BJP. Even if the minorities vote for the Congress, the others who are in a majority will support us. We are confident that Ananthkumar Hegde will win with a historical margin of over two lakh votes," said state BJP executive member, Uday Kumar Shetty.
Congress leaders too admit that Mr Asnotikar's chances are not very good in the constituency as he is not familiar to the voters. They feel any other leader from the Janata Dal (Secular) or Congress would have fetched the coalition more votes. JD(S) leaders, however, claim the increase in polling will help the party.
“People of Uttara Kannada are unhappy with Hegde. His statements and his attitude have annoyed them. The minorities and backward classes, who are unhappy with him, have united and voted in large number this time and this is why the polling percentage has increased,” contended JD(S) state vice president, M B Sadasiv.
But Mr Hegde's electoral history is impressive. He has won from the constituency by a margin of over one lakh votes twice and in all, has been elected from it for five terms, which may be a hard record to break, believe some.